Chandigarh, August 19
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) has unearthed a scam in Regional Transport Authority (RTA) office Sangrur and registered a criminal case against the RTA, Motor Vehicle Inspector (MVI), two clerks, two middlemen and private agents. In this case, the VB has arrested two employees of this office and a middleman.
Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the State Vigilance Bureau said in this scam involvement of RTA Sangrur, MVI, their clerical staff and private persons has come to light who in connivance with each other used to collect bribes from various agents operating in the state for issuing fitness certificates to different types of vehicles without following prescribed rules of the state government.
He informed that as per rules of transport department all commercial vehicles had to obtain fitness certificate from the RTA office in order to ply on the roads and all such vehicles along with their documents have to be physically inspected by the MVI in his office.
Revealing the modus operandi, he added that these officials in connivance with agents and middlemen were blatantly issuing fitness certificates without any physical verification of vehicles in lieu of bribes ranging from Rs 2800 to Rs 1000 per vehicle depending on the model of vehicle. In this way, the RTA and MVI were passing the vehicles only on the basis of documents without physical inspections of vehicles that have to be parked at a specified place for inspection on the spot.
The spokesperson further added that on the basis of complaints received in this regard, a VB team conducted a surprise checking in the office of MVI Sangrur that exposed the scam. In this case, the VB arrested three accused on the spot namely Dharminder Pal alias Bunty (agent) along with dealing clerk Gurucharan Singh and data entry operator Jagsir Singh and bribe money of about Rs 40,000 besides many documents related with this ongoing scam were also recovered.
A case under the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered at VB police station Patiala against Ravinder Singh Gill, RTA, Mahinder Pal, MVI, Gurcharan Singh, clerk, Jagsir Singh, data entry operator, Dharminder Pal alias Bunty and Sukhwinder Sukhi both middlemen and other private agents.
VB spokesperson informed that during preliminary investigation it was found that this scam was going on since last 7-8 years and more than 2000-2500 vehicles were being issued fitness certificates every month. He said it was not possible for a person to physically inspect such a large number of vehicles and bribe money of Rs 35-40 lakhs have been collected every month making this scam run in crores. He added that further investigation was under progress and the role of all officials posted in this office earlier would also be probed and strict action as per law would be initiated.